Obituary – Les Paul

People Keep Dying Unexpectedly

If only because you get to hear about it, thanks to the internet.

Yesterday I was over at Walk-Off HBP’s place and he told me Ian Wallace, drummer to King Crimson and David Lindley passed away. Today it’s Les Paul, the man whose name is on that electric guitar made by Gibson and Epiphone. Indeed Les Paul to me is not a guitar player, he’s a shape of an electric guitar with a cutaway and 2 humbuckers.

Paul died in White Plains, New York, from complications of severe pneumonia, according to the statement.

Paul was a guitar and electronics mastermind whose creations — such as multitrack recording, tape delay and the solid-body guitar that bears his name, the Gibson Les Paul — helped give rise to modern popular music, including rock ‘n’ roll. No slouch on the guitar himself, he continued playing at clubs into his 90s despite being hampered by arthritis.

“If you only have two fingers [to work with], you have to think, how will you play that chord?” he told CNN.com in a 2002 phone interview. “So you think of how to replace that chord with several notes, and it gives the illusion of sounding like a chord.”

This is the man who pushed the electric guitar on to the Gibson company. It wasn’t just the electric guitar, it was multitrack recording and overdubbing and tape echo that he brought to music production.  All of us home-recording artist owe him a debt. He was a seminal figure in pop music without whom you do not have Led Zeppelin or Run DMC or Mariah Carey or Queen or whoever else is on your CD shelf or playing on your radio today.

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Filed under General, Jazz, Pop, Prog Rock, Rock

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